Merck & Co Inc (MRK): Today's Featured Drugs Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Merck ( MRK) pushed the Drugs industry higher today making it today's featured drugs winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Merck rose $0.69 (1.5%) to $47.00 on average volume. Throughout the day, 23,973,882 shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 18,849,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $46.67-$47.60 after having opened the day at $46.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.31. Other companies within the Drugs industry that increased today were: Oramed Pharmaceuticals ( ORMP), up 25.6%, Cytokinetics ( CYTK), up 22.0%, Novogen ( NVGN), up 18.9% and Immunomedics ( IMMU), up 16.2%.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. Merck has a market cap of $143.7 billion and is part of the health care sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Merck a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, Idenix Pharmaceuticals ( IDIX), down 30.7%, Genvec ( GNVC), down 17.4%, Biosante Pharmaceuticals ( BPAX), down 16.7% and Fibrocell Science ( FCSC), down 16.3% , were all laggards within the drugs industry with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN) being today's drugs industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the drugs industry could consider SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF ( XPH) while those bearish on the drugs industry could consider ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotech ( BIS).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.
null

If you liked this article you might like

'Date' These Potential Biotech Winners

'Date' These Potential Biotech Winners

The 10 Stocks America's Biggest Hedge Funds Are Dumping Like Crazy

Why You Keep Cash on Hand; No Downside Conviction -- Jim Cramer's Top Thoughts